And you knew where you were then.
Girls were girls and men were men.
Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again.
Didn’t need no welfare state.
Everybody pulled his weight.
Gee, our old LaSalle ran great.
Those were the days!
I remember as if it was yesterday when I watched the hit TV show on CBS, All in the family. It was on prime time network television from 1971-1979. This was top viewing for the American public, not too late for kids not to be able to watch, and on a huge mainstream television network that gave the ‘good housekeeping seal of approval.’
I loved that show. The comedy was edgy and Americans seemed to be OK with it as well. I never heard of riots in the streets or protests regarding the anti-Semitic and racially insulting commentary. It just seemed all normal back then. My religion was part of the stereotypical jokes that Archie would say, yet it didn’t offend me at all.
Now, just imagine, just for a second, if that show was produced today. I guarantee that not only would it never make network programming, it would never make the premium cable channels that tend to be less politically correct. The viewpoint of Archie Bunker was narrow-minded even in that time! In fact, the show made no bones about making Archie look foolish most of the times. In order to achieve that, they still had to provide the world to see the backward thinking mindset of the world he saw. This was a man who was so entrenched in his 1950’s world view that nothing was going to change his mind, even casting Mike Stivic (Meathead) as the far left liberal.
There are so many things that are going through my mind about this show. I feel a little dizzy just wrapping my mind around it. Here are some that are most prominent:
- Why was I not offended at the time, as it seems so offensive now?
- Were we laughing with Archie or at Archie?
- How many people today are Archie Bunkers?
- How has political correctness completely changed how we speak in public today?
This post might simply be a rambling of astonishments, but it brings out issues that we are dealing with today.
I figured out that back in the 70’s, it was a different era. Women were mostly relegated to being housewives. African-Americans were not in positions of power. So, at that time, it was politically “OK” to have a TV show that talked about these situations. What is interesting is that the show basically made Archie look like a fool. A Neanderthal man. He was not a bad person per se; he just was ignorant and resistant to change.
Which brings me to this thought. The support for Trump
So why is there such passionate support for Donald Trump? When you ask supporters, which are predominantly all white and mostly men, they say he speaks his mind. He is not a politician and it is refreshing. Well, it is one thing to speak your mind, and it is a whole other story what you are saying.
What is disturbing is that Trump is bringing out the ‘Archie Bunkers’ of the world. The ruse is that many of these supporters get to say that they like that he speaks his mind, which really is code for divisive, racist and anti-semitic comments. Trump is giving cover to these ‘Archie Bunkers.’
Are we now going back full circle? Will it be OK to talk like Archie? The Donald and Archie seem to have a lot in common. I hope we are not going back to when “those were the days.”
Categories: Current Events